Although described as Hale 150, this manuscript collection of mediaeval English poetry was in fact already in the Inn’s collection when Matthew Hale bequeathed his manuscripts to the Inn. It may have been given by the family of Anthony Foster of Trotton (d. 1643) whose signature and extensive annotations appear in the volume. (As so many of the Inn’s manuscripts were given by Hale, early cataloguers of the collection had a tendency to assume all manuscripts were Hale manuscripts).
The manuscript contains five early English Metrical Romances, in a hand of the fourteenth century. The first two, Lybeaus Desconus and Of Arthour and of Merlin, tell stories about the court of King Arthur, although the latter concentrates on the figure of Merlin (Arthur himself does not appear). The second two poems, Kyng Alisaunder and the Batayle of Troye, tell stories from the world of classical antiquity. The final poem is the A Version of Piers Plowman, the dream-vision poem attributed to William Langland – one of the great landmarks of mediaeval literature. The Lincoln’s Inn version of Piers Plowman is discussed in the Inn’s 2021 Annual Review, pp. 86-88